Nokia and AT&T are collaborating to further advance 5G technology in the 39 GHz band by recently completing fixed wireless 5G tests with AT&T's Internet TV streaming service, DIRECTV NOW. Nokia achieved this world's first by delivering a 39 GHz system based on its commercially available AirScale radio access platform. The test demonstrates how new services can be successfully delivered with new technologies operating at high frequencies.
"With this trial, we're doing something that no other operator has done - regionally or globally,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T. “We expect 39 GHz to be an important 5G band in the United States, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia to further advance 5G technology in this band. The work coming out of AT&T Labs will provide valuable contributions to future 5G standards, and allow us to pave the way for delivering significantly faster speeds and a better overall network experience for our customers across the U.S."
Both the 39 GHz band and the 28 GHz band are particularly attractive due to the large bandwidth available; however, there is significantly more bandwidth available in the 39 GHz, which makes it a strong candidate to support 5G deployments. Nokia began testing mmWave technology with AT&T in 2016. For its recent tests of DIRECTV NOW over 39 GHz, Nokia delivered a 5G radio access system, conducting the trial at the AT&T Labs facility in Middletown, New Jersey.
The results from this world's first such trial will help advance the viability of 39 GHz, which AT&T expects to play a key role in 5G development and deployment. The testing of DIRECTV NOW also demonstrates 5G's promise of providing new experiences to end users with its ultra-low network latency and higher throughput - all important requirements for both media services and the industrial Internet.
"AT&T has laid out its path to 5G, and we're excited to help them execute on it,” said Ricky Corker, head of North America, Nokia. “We continue leveraging our innovations to make 5G a commercial reality. And, delivering a 39 GHz system for AT&T is a great example of our commitment to provide the most relevant services and solutions, and the best collaborative experience to our customers."